Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview
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PROSPERITY AND THE EVIL ENCHANTMENT

ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE LIVE-AT-HOME DINNER GIVEN AT THE MANSION

RALEIGH, N. C.

DECEMBER 19, 1929

North Carolina's supreme problem today is the production of elementary necessities. The millions sent out of the State annually for the purchase of food and feedstuff which might easily be produced at home represents an extravagance and a loss which must shortly, unless immediate and far-reaching remedial action is taken, result in economic disaster.

This is potentially one of the richest agricultural regions in the entire world. There is no reason, other than our own deliberate disregard of familiar economic laws, why it should not be a land blossoming in prosperity and with the gaunt spectre of undernourishment and hunger unheard of. What is there that we need we cannot produce at home? Is there any evil enchantment upon North Carolina's rich acres which would prevent the growth of corn, wheat, potatoes, beans, apples, hay, and the great secondary crops of cattle, hogs, and poultry?

The only evil enchantment I know of is that of the so-called "money crops." Deserting the green oasis of diversified farming, our people have followed the mirage of huge profits from cotton and tobacco into a trackless desert of uncertainty and gloom, and instead of the anticipated profits, they have harvested deficits and, in a tragic number of instances, actual undernourishment and want have resulted.

This dinner, given chiefly in honor of the members of the North Carolina Press Association because of their great power to shape and mould public opinion, dramatizes a simple remedy for a serious situation.

-143-

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Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933
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